Security Concerns Disappear When Passengers Are Willing to Pay A Fee?
Written by: Kuki
Veteran, or even recent past cruisers, will remember when requests from guests for a tour of the ship’s Bridge were met with a grimaced face reply stating that Bridge tours were not allowed “due to security concerns. Suddenly now, it appears the decision makers at the cruise lines have decided those “security concerns” could be easily dealt with if guests were willing to pay $95 to $150 per person. Those funds are not being directed to hiring and maintaining additional security. They are simply an additional revenue stream the cruise lines decided they could tap into.
Understand, one doesn’t need any special clearance; nor is there any type of background checks on prospective “behind the scenes” tour particpants. The cruise lines are now selling these tours as an excursion; no different than a day trip to the beach on a Caribbean tour. The only requirement to participating is that you are a paying passenger on the ship, and you’re willing to pay extra to see more of the “restricted”, non-public areas of the ship.
Factually, there never was a “security concern” about allowing passengers on the Bridge, or behind the scenes, other than natural concerns about having too many people wandering around on the Bridge and interfering with the normal operations which occur there, or other behind the scenes areas.
Having been one who has been invited to, and granted access to the Bridge, engine rooms, storage areas, etc many times in my role as a member of the press, when I heard the “security concern” excuse being given to other passengers making requests for these tours always “stuck in my craw”. I never understood the necessity for the lie. Sure, it was a simple line for guest relations desk personnel to use to swiftly remove themselves from having any responsibility or ability to deal with the request. They didn’t have to ruffle any one’s feathers by telling them they weren’t important enough, or booked into a high enough cabin category, to make the allowed in list.
Yes, it was just a “little white lie”, but honestly, hearing that “little white lie”, and other seemingly innoculous “little white lies” regarding other circumstances, has always left me asking myself… what else are they willing to lie to me about?
Call me sceptical, but even in my personal life, when someone I know tells me a lot of “little white lies”, I soon learn not to believe most of what they tell me. Perhaps they should be like the cruise lines, and have me pay them $95 if I want the truth.
The fact of the matter is, even after the general rules of security tightened after 9/11, there were passengers (not only members of the press) being invited to tour the Bridge (or other behind the scenes areas) on just about every sailing of every ship. Yes, it was considered an honor to receive such invites; just as is an invitation to dine with the Captain or other ship’s officers. Perhaps soon we’ll see tickets one can buy for that as well.
I do understand some people being interested in seeing some of the “behind the scenes”, “inner workings” of the ship. Their willingness to pay $95- up to $150 - per person to do so is a bit mind boggling to me. It may simply be due to my own reaction, seeing people rewarding the cruise lines with revenue for the lies they told when these tours were unavailable due to safety issues.
I can think of so many other things $300 per couple would pay for; bail money for my release foremost amongst them.
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Posted: August 2nd, 2011 under Kuki.